Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 MIDI Keyboard

Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 Controller Keyboard is friendly on your wallet!

Arturia claims that the KeyLab Essential 88 is an 88-note Controller Keyboard and is one of the most affordable 88-note controllers on the market, which comes with a bundle of software as well.

The KeyLab Essential 88 features all new keybed – a hybrid synth-piano feel, is velocity sensitive and has pitch and mod wheels placed above the keys. As with other controllers in the range, there are more here than just the keyboard. The controller packs eight back-lit performance pads, transport controls, a parameter screen with browser jog wheel, plus a bank of nine fader/rotary channel strips. These controls can be used plug-and-play with a variety of software tools.

Inside, as with other KeyLab controllers, there is tight integration with Analog Lab application, which hosts an assortment of vintage synth, piano and organ emulations powered by excellent V Collection software suite. The KeyLab Essential 88 is also designed for use with major DAWs, and incorporates MCU/HUI compatibility.

The KeyLab Essential 88 also features a Chord Play mode, for simple arrangement and triggering of chords. The KeyLab Essential 88 is class-compliant allowing straightforward use with Android devices and iOS. The instrument comes bundled with Analog Lab, which hosts over 6,500 synth and keyboard sounds, along with the full version of UVI’s Grand Piano Model D, and Ableton Live Lite.

The KeyLab Essential 88 will be able to provide everything you will need to create and record music straight out of the box with its performance controls, Analog Lab support, and DAW integration.

The Arturia KeyLab Essential 88 is available.

Arturia KeyLab Essential 88

Sequential PRO 3 Paraphonic Synthesizer


Sequential Pro 3 Multi-filter Mono Synth

Dave Smith’s new Sequential Pro 3 is a paraphonic synth that offers the best analog and digital technology.

The Sequential Pro 3 features premium Fatar 37-note semi-weighted keyboard, two analogue oscillators each with saw, triangle and variable-width pulse waves and these are joined by a DSP-powered digital oscillator that can produce 32 types of morphing wavetable, along with analogue oscillator emulations and a supersaw mode. In addition, this DSP oscillator can also function as a complex wavetable LFO for interesting modulation possibilities and there is also an additional noise generator, plus controls for hard sync, per-oscillator glide and a Slop feature for introducing analogue-like inaccuracies.

Onboard the Pro 3 there are three types of analog filters – a Prophet-6 LPF, a Moog-style ladder filter and the continuous, state-variable design from the OB-6. Additionally, the ladder filter includes an optional resonance compensation feature to maintain bass presence even with the resonance cranked. The OB-6 model also has a bandpass switch to complement its morphable low-pass, notch and high-pass modes, while the inclusion of a drive control allows users add a touch of grit at the filter stage too.

On the Pro 3 modulation front, the synth has four freely-assignable, looping ADSR envelopes plus three syncable LFOs with phase-offset and slew. A 32-slot modulation matrix with 171 possible desti-nations should allow for copious amounts of routing options.

On the digital side of Pro 3, the synth has dual effects sections boasting multiple types of delay, reverb and modulation effects including chorus, phasers and flangers, and a programmable analogue distortion and tuned feedback for aggressive tonal effects.

The Pro 3 also features an advanced sequencer with 16 tracks, each capable of 16 steps and four phrases. On its rear, the hardware has four CV inputs and outputs, plus a gate out, and the sequencer can be used to control the synth itself and external hardware simultaneously.

The Sequential Pro 3 is available in two forms, and there is also a multimode arpeggiator included. The standard model and a hinged, wooden-ended special edition version. Both versions have a 37-note keyboard.

The Sequential Pro 3 mono synth is available now!

“In many ways the Pro 3 is the evolution of a concept that started with the classic Sequential Circuits Pro-One,” says Sequential founder Dave Smith: “Pack as much power as possible into a compact foot-print and make it sound awesome. To do that, we built on the strengths of its modern-day counterpart, the Pro 2, and created a worthy successor to both that sets a new benchmark for raw power and versatility.”


Moog Subsequent 25 Analog Synthesizer

Whenever Moog releases a new synth it is a norm getting a little excited about it. And the Moog Subsequent 25 or Sub 25 is no exception. It is the successor to the Sub Phatty.

The new Moog Subsequent 25 is a two-note paraphonic analog synth paired with a 25-note keyboard, making it the most compact of Moog’s current crop of non-modular synths. It packs two oscillators, which are accompanied by an additional sub oscillator and noise generator. These can be used in two ways – Unison mode, in which the three oscillators are stacked, and the new Duo Mode, which is inherited from the Subsequent 37 and allowing users play two distinct notes with the individual oscillators.

In addition, the synth includes full MIDI implementation for the knob-per-function front panel, and a free editor/librarian application allowing users to save and recall an unlimited number of sounds. Other improvements inherited from the Subsequent range include reshaped gain staging for the ladder filter, increased headroom and improved keybed. The Multidrive circuit has been retuned as well, and according to Moog, this now extends far beyond the level of grittiness achievable from the Sub Phatty.

Other highlights of the Subsequent 25 include an input for processing external audio, CV inputs to control pitch, filter, volume and a gate trigger, plus a high-powered headphone amplifier.

The Sub 25 takes what made its predecessor such a powerful and aggressive tone monster and just goes bigger.

The Moog Subsequent 25 is available now.

Moog Subsequent 25 Analog Synthesizer

Yamaha YC61 Stage Keyboard

The Yamaha YC61 may be your perfect stage keyboard!

The new Yamaha YC61 drawbar organ has great features for a digital organ, but it looks like it has plenty to offer to any gigging keyboardist. Though organ tones are its speciality, but there are plenty of other sounds packed in the instrument as well.

The Yamaha YC61 features 61-key waterfall keyboard and is the first Yamaha stage keyboard to include real drawbars, while the organ sound comes courtesy of a new engine that is powered by Yamaha’s Virtual Circuit Modeling technology (VCM). This is designed to recreate the behaviour of all the transistors and resistors of real tonewheel and drawbar circuits, and you get detailed control over your organ’s parameters.

Inside, there is a rotary speaker emulation in the YC61, along with effects. As Yamaha mentioned earlier that it has not scrimped on the non-organ elements of the YC61, meaning either there are two concert grands – S700 and CFX, electric pianos – FM models and synths.

The Yamaha YC61 definitely has the look and everything you need in one keyboard. A portable and lightweight gigging instrument with real drawbars.

The Yamaha YC61 will be available in June.

Yamaha YC61 Stage Keyboard


Roland RD-88 Stage Piano

Roland RD-88 Digital Stage Piano

Take the stage!

The new Roland RD-88 Stage Piano is lighter, compact and more affordable Digital Stage Piano than some of the competitors. It takes the RD 30 years history and puts it in a gig and home-friendly compact package.

The Roland RD-88 features a 88-note PHA-4 keyboard with a hammer action and Ivory Feel keys, and there are built-in speakers as well, which are useful for practice and monitoring. Inside the RD-88 there are assortment of new SuperNATURAL Piano and SuperNATURAL E.Piano sounds powered by Roland ZEN-Core. The digital stage piano comes with more than 3,000 tones and 400 scenes that make use of the 3-part split and layering. Each part gets its own effects system with 90 effect types, EQ and Tone Colour plus multi-effects for the scenes. It has Sympathetic Resonance, 8 types of Chorus/Delay, 6 types of Reverb, a Master compressor and EQ and reverb and EQ on the mic/line input.

In addition, the interface is designed to offer quick, easy access to the essential controls, so you should not have any problem selecting sound categories, creating splits/layers and adding in effects. Favourite sounds can be stored for quick recall, and the one-touch piano button takes you straight back to the core piano sound any time you want.

As mentioned earlier by Roland, the RD-88 offers easy computer integration so is also possible to play your software sounds through the instrument via USB.

The Roland RD-88 would be available in March.